Wayne Selby, 27, of Sykesville always wanted to race cars. He was a regular spectator at local oval tracks when he was young, hoping someday that he would have a car of his own.
About five years ago Selby's neighbor, Tom Higgs, a regular drag racer, took him to 75-80 Dragway. After that, it didn't take much to convince Selby that he should try drag racing.
"I knew I couldn't afford to run a dirt track car, so I went to a drag race with Tom. I decided to give it a try," he said. "Once I got racing in it, I knew I kind of liked it and the more I did it the more I liked it. It kind of grew on me."
Selby started out in the ETK (Trophy) Class with a 1969 Chevrolet pickup truck with a 396-cubic-inch motor. Selby seemed to have the natural touch. It wasn't long before he won his first race and that it was time to make his first move. He decided to move into Class II, a division that is faster than the trophy class with more experienced drivers.
When Selby moved up to Class II he switched from the pickup truck to a Chevrolet Camaro. He raced a couple more years before making the move to the faster speeds of Class I.
For the past three years, Selby has been a top competitor in Class I. In 1993, he won the wild-card spot to represent 75-80 at the bracket finals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Selby always has worked hard to improve his consistency and performance. His current car, a 1970 Chevy Nova can turn the quarter-mile in under 10 seconds.
He hasn't raced for points this year because he has been working two jobs so he could afford to make his next move. Recently he purchased a dragster.
"I always wanted a dragster," Selby said. "I finally got the money and went ahead and bought it. I plan on using the motor and transmission out of my Nova and selling the car.
"I won't be ready this year. I want to take my time and work on it over the winter and get it ready for next year. I am pretty anxious to race it."
Selby expects the dragster, which weighs 1,600 pounds compared to the 2,300 pounds of his Nova, to have an elapsed time in the low nine-second range.
In preparation for next year, Selby also has been experimenting with fuel on his current car. Recently he switch to alcohol from gas.
With timing runs during the day when the temperatures are highest, racing normally doesn't begin until sundown. The difference in the temperature and humidity changes the speed on the car dramatically and makes it tough to dial-in the correct time, regardless of driver experience.
Selby is finding out that alcohol is not affected by the change as much as gas. The car is also faster with alcohol and runs cooler.
Three of the top six spots in the super sprint and semi-late features at Lincoln Speedway went to Carroll County drivers last weekend. Cris and Darren Eash of Woodbine were second and third, respectively, and Jesse Wentz of Manchester finished sixth. In the semi-late feature, Westminster's Don Zechman and Howard Williams placed in the second and third spots, respectively, and Randy Zechman was sixth. In the thundercar feature Brad Green of Westminster was fourth and Mickey Zechman of Westminster was ninth.
At Williams Grove Speedway, Cris Eash was fifth in the first super sprint feature and ninth in the second.
In late model action, Gary Stuhler of Westminster returned to action with a win at Hagerstown Speedway after being out for a month with a broken foot. Stuhler started ninth and took command on the 11th lap and led the rest of the way. Mike Walls of Taneytown, who has won at Trail-Way and Lincoln this year, scored his first career win in the four-cylinder pure stock feature at Hagerstown. Walls started ninth and had the lead by the third lap.
At Winchester Speedway, Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was seventh in the late model feature.
Brad McClelland of Westminster had another good weekend. He won the micro-sprint feature at Ebensburg, Pa. Speedway with Steve Owings of Westminster second. McClelland won the qualifying heat at Challenger Speedway before the feature was postponed. At Trail-Way Speedway, McClelland was second, Owings was sixth and David Parrish of Westminster was ninth. In the four-cylinder feature, Walls was fifth, Matt Barnes of Westminster was seventh, Don Zechman of Westminster was eighth. In the eight-cylinder feature, John McDonogh of Finksburg was fourth and Mark Shorb of Westminster was 10th. Westminster's Jason Smith won the street stock feature.
In drag racing last Friday night, Don Leonard of Mount Airy was runner-up in Class I. Westminster's Chuck Taylor and Ron Peters and Sev Tingle of Mount Airy all went four rounds. Mike Stambaugh of Union Bridge won Class II. Last Saturday, Rodney Kuhns of Lineboro won Class I and Ted Gilmore of Mount Airy was runner-up. Steve Dustin of Westminster was runner-up in Class II. Malcolm Ford of Westminster won the motorcycle class over Dave Belt of Taneytown.